The Love We Choose

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Chapter 17

Huan was feeling sluggish. If he cared to be honest with himself, he had been steadily feeling worse with each passing day since they met with Dr. Ulias. Although his recent trips to the gym had given him boosts of energy, they were overshadowed by the frequent headaches and increasing congestion that was taking up residence in his body.

Things at the hospital had been all sorts of hectic. The wife of a Department Head came in and beat up a nurse in the emergency room that she found out he was having an affair with. Through the gossips of the hospital, Huan learned that there were pages of text messages that she had printed and thrown at the nurse. Apparently there was more than one nude shot of her in the printouts.

And as if the gods didn’t think there wasn’t enough insanity happening at the hospital for the day, one of the patients with dementia was found cutting the hair of a sleeping patient several doors down from his own room. Upon further investigation, the staff discovered that several patients had had stealth-haircuts done to them by the wandering patient with dementia. Prior to the diagnosis, the scissors-wielding forgetful patient had been a well sought-out professional stylist to the stars. The lawyers for the hospital were going to have a field-day keeping this whole situation under wraps.

With all of this hullabaloo going on in the hospital, Huan had been called to help out in the emergency room. Two hours into his shift, as he was reporting to Dr. Tamale, Head of the Emergency Room through a clogged nose, the elder doctor stopped him. “Hold on Dr. Zhang. Nurse Grayson, can you please hand me that thermometer?” He asked a grey-haired nurse in purple scrubs. She passed over the instrument with an ear-probe cover on it and Dr. Tamale placed it inside of Huan’s ear. When it finally beeped, the doctor tutted and stared hard at Huan. “Just as I suspected. Dr. Zhang, what is considered a fever in this hospital?”

“100.4F,” Huan skeptically answered.

“And what do we consider dangerous for adults?” Dr. Tamel continued with the impromptu quiz.

“If an adult maintains a temperature ober 103 for two days or more.” Pulling a tissue out of his lab coat pocket, Huan blew his nose in an attempt to clear the congestion in his sinuses.

“And what would you tell a patient who has a fever of 103.3F, looks pale as the ghost of Christmas past, is congested, and most likely sharing their germs with the general populace?”

“If the patient is found to have the flu, like it sounds, I would advise the patient to self-isolate at home, push fluids, rest, and take either acetaminophen or ibuprofen,” he ended his diagnosis with a wet chest cough.

“Dr. Zhang. It’s time you take your own medical advice. Go home. Quit spreading your germs around my ER. I don’t want to see you until you have been consistently fever-free for twenty-four hours. My medical staff is no good to me incubating bacteria and giving them to the patients.”Huan started to protest, but thought better of it when the stern look on Dr. Tamale’s face pierced his soul. “You came in here looking like the living dead and thought that it was appropriate to keep working. Unacceptable.”

Nodding his head, he finished reporting, filled in notes on his patients’ charts, and went to grab his belongings. On his way home, he called Lynne to see what she was up to.

“Oh you know, rolling a joint, drinking some wine, and watching MMA fights, my typical Friday night,” she quipped at him over the phone.

“Is this one of dose two lies and a trooth things?” He asked her, through his stuffy nose.

“Oh, you saw right through me. I’m really sitting here sipping on some tea and eating a baked sweet potato. The fetus wouldn’t let me have any of the enchilada I bought on my way home. I’m very heartbroken right now. Once I finish forcing this down my gullet, I’m gonna curl up with a good book and probably fall asleep on the couch.”

“Are you eating enough, Lynne? Remember the doctor said getting enough water and calories is a priority at dis stage of debelopment.”

“I’m keeping track, mom. Wait,” she paused. “Why are you calling me? Shouldn’t you be in the beginnings of your night-shift?”

“I got sent home for running a fever. The head doctor gave me my marching orders a little while ago, so I’m heading to the subway now. Just wanted to gib you a call to check-in,” the headache he had been ignoring, was pulsing harder with each sentence.

“Seriously, Huan?!” She sighed exasperatedly at him over the phone. “When are you going to remember that you need to take care of yourself as well?”

“I’m going home. I’m going home. Don’t worry about me, Lyndy. You take care of you and our baby. I’ll be fine,” he reassured her as he reached his free hand into his pocket to take out his Metrocard. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I’m about to go underground.”

“Alright. Text me when you get home.”

“Yes, boss.”


“Night.” He clicked off the call as he walked through the turnstile. The rumblings of the subway line signaled vibrated underneath his feet and aggravated his headache. “This is going to be a fun ride home,” he grumbled to himself.


A/N: I know. I know. Short chapter. However, the next one will make up for it, I promise.
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